Our brilliant idea of sleeping in the back of Deedee wasn’t gong so well. While camping in Mt. Field, we awoke to ice covered windows and frozen toes. I’m not sure what we were thinking for we attempted to drive to the top of the mountain that morning. I got us about 3/4 of the way up, started skidding around in the five inches of snow, and decided it would be best to come back down before we seriously got stuck.
Bay of Fires – The sweeping beaches around the Bay of Fires were our next destination. Legends say it was named when early explorers saw aboriginal fires along the shores of the bay. Here, we spent our last night of clear skies and fair weather.
Gwenda and I sat on the Bay of Fires beach long into the evening, enjoying the star filled skies and lapping lullaby of the waves. We spent much of the time laying in the sand trying to find the southern cross, a famous southern hemisphere constellation. Never found it. I’m convinced it was in hiding for the night but perhaps the wine impaired my judgment.
Tasmania Beach Camping – Beach camping is a trip back into time, but worth every moment. With the gusty winds, it sometimes took hours to light our portable stove, and heat enough water boiled for a hot coffee or cup of noodles. By that time, my fingers were frozen, and I was almost ready to crawl into my sleeping back with a grumbling tummy. But the quietness and serenity of being on our own was just about perfect. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The following morning, the weather took a turn for the worse, and then steadily worsened as time went on. While we took shelter in a coffee shop that afternoon, a kind patron saw us wringing out our socks and trying to dry our hair with napkins. He stopped by, offered a gently pat on the shoulder, and commented, “Don’t worry, this here is unusual for Tasy. Try again next week!”
Our drive took us north to Launceston where we were greeted with even angrier clouds and driving rain. The consensus quickly decided the weather wasn’t fit to see Cataract Gorge, one of the highlights in the northern region. Instead, we snuck into a hostel for a quick mid-week shower and then spent three hours driving in circles on the various one way streets of the city. Apparently I can’t navigate. Although Launceston is known as “the garden city,” we couldn’t see any of the beautiful squares, reserves and park gardens through the gray haze. Instead, we decided to spend the time driving to our next destination.
After finally finding our much needed gas for our camp stove, we sped out of the city and headed north. There were several chocolate factories and cheese farms along the way, each offering tasty samples. We probably took more than our allotted share, but – really, offering free chocolate to girls is just a crime!